I am fed up with hearing the words “Jesus Christ” thrown at me by people whom the real Jesus would probably never accept. As we get ready to celebrate another Easter, I am wondering why this holiday (as well as Christmas) seems gloomier every year. Are many people, who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, turning others away from the benefits of religion with their constant hypocrisy?
I’m tired of hearing that if I don’t accept Jesus as my savior I’ll be going to Hell. I’m tired of the same right wing religious people telling me how it’s wrong to support abortion, but that I should support the war in Iraq. I’m especially tired of hearing about a growing number of priests (who supposedly teach the gospel of Jesus) molest young boys. I’m especially tired of the religious right wing segment of our society using morally corrupt people, such as Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly, to get their “morals” across.
While Jesus may be against abortion, did he really intend to send some of his followers to bomb abortion clinics? While Jesus may be uncomfortable with two men getting married, did he ever intend for some of his followers to hunt down gay men and beat them until they are almost dead? One may say only extremists practice these acts, but it’s these extremists that are influencing our government and laws. That is something to fear, not Jesus.
I will admit I have met a number of people who say accepting Jesus as their savior has changed their lives and I have even witnessed as some have changed their self-destructive paths because of their new religious lives. I have also met some people who consider themselves Christians or Catholics and who practice what they preach by living a life of love, tolerance, and understanding. These people are disappearing or are drowned out by the voices of those who want to use the concept of Jesus Christ to pass judgment on others and dictate how everyone else should live their lives.
I know several people who had considered themselves devout Catholics but who stopped going to church over the past couple of years due to the child molestation scandals. I know others who have stopped practicing any type of religion, including prayer, because of the right wing religious hypocrites who have turned the concept of religion inside out. I’ve talked to many teenagers who think it’s now “cool” to be an atheist. Many of Jesus Christ’s so-called followers have to come to grips with the fact that they are spreading fear and intolerance rather than the love Jesus Christ is supposed to represent.